• Soren Vinther Hansen

How will the 2020 Global Sulphur cap affect your operational costs?

When the 2020 global sulphur cap enters into force, ships will have to use fuel with a maximum content of 0.5 % worldwide against the limit of 3.5 % today. The ECA areas will remain at a level of 0.1 %.

Shipowners will have to decide how to comply with the 2020 regulations. Either to continue with high sulphur fuel (HFO) and retrofitting/installing a scrubber solution on board, switch to a distillate blend, switch to a low sulphur fuel e.g. like MGO or switch to another fuel type e.g. like LNG.


All solutions should be considered with the advantages/disadvantages that there might be by the different choices, a few mentioned in the table below (- disadvantage, + advantage)

It is still unknown which solutions will be chosen by the shipowners, even though that many owners already have laid out a strategy for meeting the cap. The concern for many is the availability of low sulphur fuel (and on the contrary also high sulphur fuel after 2020) and what will happen with the prices of fuel. It is the expectation that fuel prices will go up (it already has started), and this will lead to increased operational costs for owners and operators.

All of these concerns make it even more important to invest in systems that can monitor the performance of the vessels in a fleet. The system should systematically give information to decide on the optimum operation of the vessels to minimize the fuel costs for the owner and operator. This includes, on the technical level, hull/propeller, main engine, auxiliaries and boiler performance. The excess consumption overview and the margin for improving operational costs should be evident in the system output.


Further it should be possible to optimize the routing of a vessel with regards to avoiding unfortunate weather conditions causing speed loss and increased fuel consumption. Based on the availability issues of the chosen fuel, it is at all times important to know the endurance of the vessel under the given conditions in where the vessel is sailing. This will help to optimize the bunkering process i.e. when should you bunker and where? The performance system handling this should be able to include accurate modelling of the vessel to predict the speed and consumption at any given sailing condition. Further the system should offer handling any changes in the given operational conditions, e.g. change in ETA, speed and consumption and be able to provide dynamic advise to the users when conditions change.

Vessel Performance Solutions has a system that can help you in meeting the demand for the above, to assist you in cutting operational costs and save money on your fuel bill. Be ready for 2020 and contact us for more information. Let us discuss how we can help you to optimize your vessels performance.